Rapid Communication: MicroRNA co-expression network reveals apoptosis in the reproductive tract during molting in laying hens,
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The aim of this study was to determine the regulatory mechanisms of molting and recrudescence via studying the micro-RNA (miRNA) expression in the oviduct of laying hens. We performed a cDNA microarray analysis in the magnum tissue from the oviduct to identify the whole miRNA profiles through the molting and recrudescence periods. A total of 35 laying hens (47-wk-old) were divided into 7 groups (0 d: a control group; 6 and 12 d: 2 molting-period groups fed on a high-zinc diet; and 20, 25, 30, and 35 d: 4 recrudescence-period groups fed on a normal diet after a 12-d period on a high-zinc diet). An miRNA co-expression network (miRCN) was generated using the differentially expressed miRNA (DEM) according to the entire data integration. The significantly co-expressed miRNA ( = 111) were highly differentially expressed from 12 to 20 d, which was a transition period between molting and recrudescence, while their expression patterns were contrary to the estrogen changes. The targets of highly connected miRNA ( = 12) indicated the significant biological pathways and gene ontology (GO) terms, such as MAPK and Wnt signaling and magnesium-ion binding, which are associated with apoptotic activities. These results suggest that the miRNA of the miRCN might play a role in the apoptotic progression of the reproductive tract during molting.
author list (cited authors)
Kim, J., Lim, W., Bazer, F. W., & Song, G.